I've always been a fan of local public radio with its mixture of live programs with volunteer hosts and the mix of music found nowhere else over the air from classical to jazz and bluegrass. My local FM station, initially sponsored by the University of the Pacific, has had a good run, but now its merged with the larger Sacramento public radio station. The local program hosts with their different personalities are no longer there. Off-beat programming has been dropped. Bluegrass music once aired from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday was cut to 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but next month will be dropped altogether. The audience demographic isn't there, the big city station manager explains. It's like losing an old friend, when these local radio stations with their quirky staff fade away.